Two men were in police custody last night after a car ploughed into the front of a house on a quiet County Durham street.
Residents of Bow Street, in the former mining village of Bowburn, were enjoying a peaceful Sunday afternoon when a maroon Ford reversed into number three. The smash happened at around 1pm yesterday and saw five police cars and a helicopter out.
The driver, a man in his mid-20s, fled the scene, but was later arrested along with the passenger, who is in his early-30s and is said to live opposite.
Fortunately, the tenant of the privately-rented house was upstairs at the time and was unhurt.
One resident said: “I was just outside my front door when I heard wheels screeching. I looked around and saw there was a car in the middle of the road and it looked as though the driver was doing a three-point turn.
“I heard the tyres screech again and the car shot backwards and into the house. The driver fled, but the passenger stayed in the street.
“The next thing we know, we hear sirens and we have police cars turning up. There were so many of them, you’d think there’d been a terrorist incident, or something like that.”
He added: “It’s not the first time something like this has happened. A while ago, a learner driver reversed into a house across the street.”
Another said: “I was out of the house when it happened, and I’m just pleased my car wasn’t parked there, because it often is. I’ve heard the tenant was upstairs asleep when the car came through the wall, which is a good job. Had he have been downstairs, he would have been a goner, no doubt about it.
“They clearly hit it with a lot of force, looking at the amount of damage.”
Durham County Council were at the scene last night to secure the property. A council worker said: “As far as we know, this isn’t a council property, but one that is privately rented.
“Our priority is to board it up to prevent anyone getting in and causing trouble, or harming themselves, whilst it is structurally unsound.
“The guy who lives there came back to grab a bag and come clothes, but I don’t know where he’s staying now. He’s lucky he wasn’t injured. The rest of the repair work will be something for the landlord to organise.”
Sgt Jonathan Morgan of Durham Constabulary added: “The collision caused significant damage to the front of the house, which has required structural engineers to attend to make the premises safe.”